Butler Junior High School Principal Named "Those Who Excel" Awardee by Illinois State Board of Education

Butler Junior High School Principal Named "Those Who Excel" Awardee  by Illinois State Board of Education

Butler Junior High School Principal, Melissa Zaniewski, has been recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) with an Award of Special Recognition through the Those Who Excel Awards program for her connection within the Butler School District 53 community and making a positive impact.

The annual Those Who Excel & Teacher of the Year Awards celebrate incredible classroom teachers, administrators, teams, volunteers, and school support personnel who have made lasting impacts on the students, families, and fellow educators in their school communities. ISBE received a record number of nominations and applications for the 2024 Those Who Excel & Teacher of the Year Awards. A committee of administrators, teachers, educational service personnel, student support personnel, and past Illinois Teachers of the Year selected this year's awardees.

"These awards recognize the vital and exceptionally talented professionals who have dedicated their lives and careers to education across Illinois. They have chosen to aim their considerable talents and passion toward giving back to their communities, uplifting young people, and shaping our collective future for the better," said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tony Sanders.

Zaniewski is a long tenured staff member at Butler School District 53, originally joining the district as a ELA teacher at Butler Junior High School in 2004. Prior to assuming the role as Principal, Zaniewski served as Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction where she spearheaded curriculum and instruction initiatives and professional development across all grade levels. As Principal, she has facilitated Social-Emotional Learning initiatives, led the MTSS program and process, enhanced community collaboration, communication, and celebrations, and supported guaranteed and viable curriculum across departments.

"Melissa is an outstanding administrator, connector, and innovator. This recognition is further evidence of her commitment to our students, her colleagues, and the entire school community. We are incredibly proud to have had her as a longtime member of our school district community," said Dr. Paul O'Malley, Superintendent of Schools.

Zaniewski holds a Bachelor's degree in English and Secondary Education and a Master's degree in Educational Organization and Leadership, both from the University of Illinois.  She is a Doctoral candidate in Learning Design and Leadership at the University of Illinois.

Those Who Excel & Teacher of the Year Awardees will be celebrated at a banquet held by ISBE on Saturday, May 18, 2024.